Author: saundralparker


I’m going into the craft room and work on my art journal.  I think I’m going to do a butterfly and then fill it in with ripped pieces of napkin and Mod Podge it in place…or maybe I won’t…So far that’s my plan though.  Rich is editing the video of the manicure set.  I love it and hope you do too.

Did I tell you that we had another weird bear incident?  I’m pretty sure I talked about the bird feeder that disappeared and it’s shepherd’s hook was bent in half (giving us a pretty good idea that a bear took it–either that, or a really strong squirrel.)  Rich and I looked all over our yard for the bird feeder and it was gone.  It’s bright yellow so you’d think it would be easy to spot..A couple days later (maybe even the next day, ) the bird feeder showed up, in the middle of our back yard.  There’s no way we would have missed it when we were looking…wasn’t that considerate of the bear….Eat the contents and return the feeder?  Weird.

Yesterday morning, I got up and we had snow that covered our patio.  You could see all kinds of tiny bird foot prints (paws? no, I think they’re feet)….That’s beside the point…I looked at the middle of the patio that is 12 feet from front to back and about 21 feet wide. In the middle, but closer to the house, so let’s say at least six feet from the grass, there was one big foot print with claws on it.  Big like a man’s foot.  And no other big footprints in sight  So did the bear hop on one foot…or jump in and jump out on one foot?  It’s weird…That bear definitely gives me things to consider.   Next time I am going to either video tape or photograph the mystery, so you can see what I’m talking about.  I know I sound dumb…like the bird feeder could have been returned by a neighbor, but wouldn’t you think a neighbor would put it on our patio (that’s not enclosed), or on our front porch (also not enclosed), instead of depositing it in the middle of our back yard?  I know it sounds odd that I think an animal returned it, but so far, it’s the only explanation that makes sense….As for the foot print, could it be a bear missing a leg?  I’ve never heard of one in our area, but you never know…So now I’m on a quest to find a three legged bear that’s super considerate, returning the bird feeder after he/she is done with it, or a Sasquatch aka BigFoot….either are fairly reasonable conclusions (for a crazy person.)

Maybe I should stick to talking about crafts, but where’s the fun in that?



I decided I had to finish the manicure set “purse,” so went to Joann’s, and bought Velcro, then came home and put the final touches on it.  Then I watched the video clips to write notes for Rich for his editing.  And that’s when I found some serious boo boos….I just got a new video camera a couple of months ago, that has a remote and a great screen, so I can make sure I’m always in screen…I’m so used to not having access to what’s really on screen, that I didn’t look at it….and that was a HUGE mistake….I had videos where almost everything I did was not on screen, and then other clips where I had zoomed in to show a ruler, then forgot to zoom back out, so it was not only fuzzy but also, again, out of frame.  I had to re-video  lot and then I realized when I did the new video, I forgot to turn on the microphone, so did it again.  I can’t tell you how sometimes when doing videos, when it rains, it definitely pours.  I think I worked out most of the bugs and tomorrow Rich will do the editing and we’ll put it on YouTube.  I really like this project and hope he can piece together the video so others can follow my directions…

Tomorrow I think I’ll either work on my art journal or play with another monthly kit.  I’m not sure which one gives me the most inspiration, and I’ll decide in the morning.  I’d really like to do something that truly inspires me, like the manicure kit…that was challenging and fun, and I really felt like I was making something useful…I’m hoping viewers give me more ideas for things they’d like me to make.  I definitely enjoyed the challenge, and right now, a break from card making is a welcome relief.  One of my friends makes cards for her church, and she’s making over 130 birthday cards for the month.  That’ amazing, and I wish I had the inspiration to do that, but I’m getting a little burned out on cards and want to try some new things.


I’ve had one of those days where you smack yourself on the head and say “what was I thinking?”  I normally get a few emails from friends on a daily basis.  The last couple of weeks I haven’t been getting any.  I thought maybe they were busy, or not feeling well, but it never occurred to be to check spam.  How could I be that dumb?  It wasn’t like it was one person…it was every individual that sends me emails…Of course I got the stupid sales pitches from every crafty store I’ve ever visited, but nothing personal.  I should have thought about it logically, but apparently logic went out the window.  Fortunately, one of my friends was smart enough to put a note on my blog, and THAT forwarded to email…and then my brain kicked in.  I feel idiotic, and I know I hurt some feelings and that just devastates me….I went to spam and found all of the emails and responded to them and made my apologies, but still….shouldn’t it have occurred to me?  Geez!!

I’m almost finished with my manicure “purse.”  But I need to decorate the front and wish I’d get the Velcro I ordered, but we all know how these things work.  You get the things you really want, last.  I did however, get a lovely ballerina die yesterday.  What do I need a ballerina die for?  I have no idea, as I don’t think I ordered it..It’s the mysteries of being me.  You know I’ll be going back through my orders to figure out if I did order it, and if so, what the heck was I thinking?  I’ll let you know if I did order it….and then we’ll all scratch our heads about my sanity…

Embossing with Dies & Using Paper Pumpkin Kit

The Paper Pumpkin kit I used from Stampin’ Up is an older set, and no longer available. If you are interested in receiving Paper Pumpkin kits on a monthly basis, here’s the link for them.
I gave the wrong price in the video, as it’s $19.95 (including shipping) per month, and every kit is a surprise, you don’t get advance notice of what’s in the box. You’ll get a Stampin’ Spot (a 1′” by 1″ ink), a stamp set, plus whatever other products they choose to send each month.
I  wanted to show you a cool technique to use with intricate dies. I could use wax paper or drier sheets to help remove the contents of the die, but wanted to show a different way of using the die instead. I took a white sheet of cardstock (Recollections 110 lb heavyweight cardstock) that is 4″ x 5 1/4″ and I inked the cutting side of the die with the ink spot (Bermuda Bay) and then using my die cutting supplies, used the primary plate for the die cutting machine, added the clear plate on top, then add a foam layer, then the paper, then the die facing down and then the other clear plate, and run it through the die cutting machine. It comes out embossed and the edges inked…and it looks really cool.
I took this paper and added it to one of the card bases I got in the kit, and added one of the sticker strips near the top of the card. I took one of the circle stickers and stamped the flower stamp that came with the kit all over it and then put rhinestones in the centers of the flowers and attached it to the center of the embossed doily. I stamped a sentiment that came in the kit on a die cut I’d cut and put it on dimensionals and added three layers of twine to the sticker and wrapped the edges under the sides of the sticker. The twine had kinks in it, so I put a little water in my hand and pulled the twine through the water and that removes the kinks.
For my second card, I thought it would be fun to punch out some small flowers with a Stampin’ Up Petite Petals Punch (retired but available on ebay). I used one of the envelopes and punched seven flowers out of it, then took a paint brush and the ink that was provided, ran a thin line out to the ends of each petal, then used Tempting Turquoise ink and my 1″ blue chip brush and painted the entire flower.  Then I took a cake stylus from a set I have, and here’s the link to it: .. I used a piece of fun foam to lay it on, flipped the flower over and rubbed the tip of each petal with the stylus, then flipped it back over and pushed the stylus into the center of the flower…I added one of the green pearls to the center and did this to each of the seven flowers. Then I took one of the belly bands and cut it into thin strips and used those for the stem of my flowers. I used one of the small gift card holders and placed it near the bottom center of one of the card bases from the kit. I glued the strips with Tombow Mono Aqua glue so they looked like stems coming out of a vase, then used dimensionals to adhere the flowers to the top of the stems. I took one of the other gift card (small) holders and an old Punch Bunch leaf punch punched as many leaves as possible out of the gift card holder…I used my green chip brush and Gumball Green ink from Stampin’ Up and colored the leaves. I tucked the leaves in around the flowers and then after I had glued everything in place, glued down the gift card holder that was acting as a vase. I stamped a sentiment on one of the stickers and adhered it to the bottom below the vase. I added some of the pearls to the top of the “vase” and called it done…
The third card I made, I used an edge punch on a piece of envelope and adhered it to the front of the card base, then added one of the belly bands and twine on it then added one of the squares that I put a sentiment on, and adhered two of the flags to make them look like they were holding the square in place.
The fourth card I took one of the bands and adhered it ear the top of the card, then before gluing it down, pulled twine through holes I punched into the small flags and glued them down in a semi-circle. I adhered one of the circle stickers with “for you” stamped on it from the kit, then stamped confetti from a stamp set I had and used an old Stampin’ Up set called Garden Collage that’s retired….here’s a link to it on ebay.
I stamped it near the bottom with the ink from the kit and used a white gel pen to accentuate the flower and butterfly.


I’ve been having so much fun making the “purse to hold a manicure set and two bottles of nail polish from the Dollar Tree.  I’ve made a few mistakes that I’ve had to rectify, and some that I decided to leave in place, like gluing the decorative paper on backwards (it’s double sided)…I could have cut a new piece, scored it, and glued it down, but decided to throw in the towel since I’d already made that same mistake one other time..

I need to add more closures.  I put a strong magnet at the top, thinking it would be strong enough to keep it closed, but unfortunately, it doesn’t.  I’d ordered some small round self-adhesive Velcro from Aliexpress in white, and my decorative paper has white circles on it, so I’m hoping it arrives soon and then I’ll be able to add a circle on either side to hold it closed.

When I put the holders for the polishes and manicure set inside, I thought about a way to use the “purse” that might be even more useful.  I think I’m going to glue a piece of clear plastic to the inside of the purse and then you can lay it flat, put your hand on it, and paint your nails.  The plastic will keep the purse protected and give you a nice surface to paint on….That’s my thought so far, and I’m hoping it looks OK once I’ve finished it.  I am really happy that a viewer asked me to make the set, as I love making different products than simply cards….and when I was in the Dollar Tree, buying the supplies, I found a set of bath gel, body cream and maybe shampoo (can’t remember the third product)..It’s in it’s own clear plastic packaging, and I thought it would be fun to either surround the products with decorative paper, or make a  “purse” for them.  I haven’t decided which I think would be best….What are your thoughts?   I have several viewers that donate things to nursing homes and to their churches, and I think both of these ideas would be perfect (and inexpensive) to donate.

Once you see the purse video, you’ll realize how simple it is to make, and I hope a lot of you give it a try.  I’m going to try to make the bath set even simpler, so you can mass produce them for gifts or craft fairs.  In this case, the set would only cost a dollar, plus whatever papers and cardboard you’ll use…so it will be really inexpensive..YAY!  I love making projects that are easy and won’t break the bank…If you have any requests, something you’d like me to make, please let me know, and I’d be more than happy to give it a try..


I made a video today…YAY!  I was starting to feel a little bit burned out making cards, and played with the Paper Pumpkin kit I was sent from Stampin’ Up, and I felt rejuvenated using their supplies.  I didn’t get a lot of stamps, and I guess it allowed me to think outside the box and boy did I…The kit included gift card holders, and I wasn’t thrilled with using them for that particular purpose, so came up with something totally unusual…And I showed a very intricate die, and a great way to use it that doesn’t involve removing paper from a hundred little slots.  I really enjoyed the process and hope you do too.

It’s supposed to start drizzling here tonight and continue for almost a week…If that happens, I might be limited to the kinds of videos I can make.  My wrists and hands don’t enjoy drizzle, so we’ll power through by playing with some new and different ideas.  I’m looking forward to it..(not the drizzle, the alternative ideas.)


I’ve been working in the craft room, but I don’t have anything to show for it yet.  I made a video last summer, and Rich has been putting off editing and uploading it, because it is so long.  Yesterday and today, he’s been working like a dog, to get it finished.  How hard does a dog work, anyway….I’m going to look for the origins of that statement.  Here’s the scoop…

phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Working like a dog : alternative

Posted by Lewis on January 17, 2003

In Reply to: Working like a dog posted by R. Berg on January 14, 2003

: Someone asked that question here recently. Someone else answered it: basically, a sheepdog works from dawn till dusk for only room and board and affection. (From memory; I haven’t found the original posts.)

In olden days, the two sawyers who worked on a tree sawing planks were the top-dog and the under-dog. A dog in those days was a manual worker.


So there you have it…  Rich finished uploading the video tonight and I had to then add the description.  You’d think it would be easy to do so, but when almost a year has gone by from the making of the album, to explaining how I did it, things have gotten lost (in my mind) along the way.   I feel kind of foolish, but there are gaps and my explanation isn’t the greatest, so here’s my apology for it…I’m so sorry, and will not let this happen again…If we have any videos that don’t go live in the first few weeks after filming, I’m going to delete the video rather than put all of you through this kind of mess.  I don’t have dimensions, I had Rich delete the portion of the video where I cut then ends off of the envelopes so they can be pockets, and the list goes on and on.

The next video I make will be of a normal length and I promise, will make a lot more sense than this one does.  If you’d like to make one of these albums,  you can easily follow Helen Griffin’s instructions ..Here’s the link.  This is the video I watched to learn how to make the album.

As for what’s in store in my next few videos…I’m going to cover Stampin’ Up’s Paper Pumpkin kit, which is their monthly subscription kit, show you how to emboss with an ornate die, and then I’m going to do a project I promised a viewer.  She’d like me to make gift packaging for a manicure set….and then, back to my art journal.  You probably thought I’d forgotten all about it, but no, I’m still thinking of ways to use it.